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Old 12-18-2010, 07:11 PM   #1
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Battery Won't Charge

Hi Guys and Gals,
got a slight problem. We are in the Florida pan handle and our battery won't charge. It is barely keeping the fridge running. It had been working fine until yesterday. Someone accidentally left the bathroom light on for several hours while towing. There was still just enough to move the tongue jack when we got parked. Hooked up trailer before unhitching to preserve...

We have had a problem using more than one or two 12 volt lights since the fridge was installed. We have turned the fridge off for a bit to see if it would help...any ideas.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:17 PM   #2
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Are you still using the original Univolt or have you upgraded to a new converter? It is possible that the univolt went bad. I would also check for corrosion on the fuses, especially the negative fuse from the battery. I have run into many issues with old and corroded fuses with my 79.

The battery should have charged on your drive so leaving the light on should not matter if the converter is doing its job and/or there are good connections with the fuses.

Good luck.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:24 PM   #3
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yes, it's the original converter. Shawn is checking the fuses right now. Will it be able to run the fridge even if the converter isn't working. We have lots of food in there......I am pretty sure we aren't going to find a converter at 9pm tonight.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:28 PM   #4
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I had a 12 volt problem with a '75 23' Airstream, thought the univolt had quit, when in fact, there was a problem with the 12 distribution and fuse panel.

There is a bolt, about 1/4", that feeds the 12 volt supply from one side of the board where the fuses are mounted to the other side, and that bolt had become loose. I found it by poking around with a volt meter lead. Tightened the bolt, and the thing is still working today.

If I were you, I'd first check the voltage at the battery with a meter, and if it's good there, check it at the fuse panel input. If it's bad there, you know it's somewhere inbetween.

Of course, if the voltage is bad at the battery, your univolt is not working, or your battery is bad.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:42 PM   #5
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He checked the fuses. They are fine. We are getting a bit of a charge. He's said something about checking to see how many amps are coming out of the battery....
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:46 PM   #6
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Can you run the fridge on propane for a while to save the food or do you need 12 volts for that as well? Do you have access to 120 volt AC power? Can you run it on AC power in the "Electric Mode"?

Check your battery terminals for corrosion and make sure they are tight. Your TV should have been charging the battery while you were on the road. So the light on should not be the problem.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:56 PM   #7
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Shawn just cleaned the terminals. he said there was a little corrosion on the cables but not much. Shawn said it's acting like we aren't plugged up at all. Just went and turned off the hooked up electric box off and back on...I felt a vibration under my feet....brakes or converter???
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:00 PM   #8
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Nicki check the battery voltage while plugged into shore power. Unplug shore power and check battery voltage again. Then while still unplugged from shore power connect to the tow vehicle,start the engine and check battery voltage again. Tell us the voltage on all three tests. Make the tests with everything turned off.
You said the fridge was replaced. Is it a new style fridge that is controlled electronically? If so you need good battery voltage to run the circuit board in the fridge. It is needed for propane mode and shore power mode in the fridge.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:01 PM   #9
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Worse case, if you have zip lock bags and ice, just treat the fridge as an ice box to save the food. Just dont open the fridge unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelstand View Post
Just went and turned off the hooked up electric box off and back on...I felt a vibration under my feet....brakes or converter???
Definitely not the brakes when parked and disconnected from the TV. The Univolt should have a humm but I am not sure about a vibration.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:12 PM   #11
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If no power getting to the battery at all. I would make sure to check the negative fuse coming from the battery. On my 79 Argosy it was connected to the battery box on the inside of the trailer under the closet. It was no where near the other fuses, That was the one that had the corrosion and a bad fuse even though it looked fine. I replaced both 50amp fuses (the negative and the main positive) even thought they looked fine. I tested them with a multimeter and they were shot. I have no idea where yours would be or if you have a multimeter.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick6930 View Post
Definitely not the brakes when parked and disconnected from the TV. The Univolt should have a humm but I am not sure about a vibration.
We don't have a painted sub-floor at the moment. so you can feel alot of things that maybe others wouldn't.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:14 PM   #13
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Nicki I just thought of something. My 73 and probably your 71 has a connection on the battery cables. It is in the battery compartment. Both positive and negative cables can be unplugged as one cable. This is so you can easily remove the battery for maintenance without removing the cables from the battery. Check that double wire coupler for corrosion and for proper fit and contact. It sounds like something is stopping your battery from receiving a charge either from the converter or from the tow vehicle.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Nicki check the battery voltage while plugged into shore power. Unplug shore power and check battery voltage again. Then while still unplugged from shore power connect to the tow vehicle,start the engine and check battery voltage again. Tell us the voltage on all three tests. Make the tests with everything turned off.
You said the fridge was replaced. Is it a new style fridge that is controlled electronically? If so you need good battery voltage to run the circuit board in the fridge. It is needed for propane mode and shore power mode in the fridge.
It is a new fridge. We got it around Sept.

He just re-checked the battery. He said it was 10.5 volt and went up to 12 volts in 5 minutes. So the battery is charging but we are not running anything on 12 volt at the moment...even the fridge is off.

To clarify, he did as you suggested and turned off the shore power. He said it continued to climb.
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